You’re probably here right now because you, too, are fascinated with wild rabbits. In this article, we’ll look at a few different ways to make friends with a wild rabbit. Rabbits are adorable and cuddly animals. Some of them, on the other hand, can be harmful.

Petting a lovely bunny is simple, but wild rabbits must be approached with caution. They are constantly on the lookout for predators and will lurch away from anything that appears to be harmful.

What is the best way to make friends with a wild rabbit? 

Giving a wild rabbit food and gradually gaining trust in the rabbit is the greatest approach to making friends with them. Befriending wild rabbits can be difficult and time-consuming. It will be simple to befriend the wild rabbit once they know you are not a threat.

Is it possible to tame a wild rabbit?

Keeping a wild newborn bunny as a pet is actually unlawful in most US states. Most states require a license from the Department of Environmental Protection before you may legally tame a wild rabbit. Unless you see a badly damaged or sick wild newborn rabbit, you must leave it alone.

In which states is keeping a wild rabbit prohibited?

All of the following states have laws regarding this matter: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Do disease-carrying wild rabbits exist?

Rabbits kept outside, captured from wild populations, or purchased from a pet store may be carriers of zoonotic diseases. Pasteurellosis, ringworm, mycobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis, and external parasites are all zoonotic diseases related to rabbits.

What diseases do rabbits have the ability to transmit to humans?

In case of transmission, the infected rabbit and the infected individual must be treated. Salmonella, listeria, and pseudotuberculosis can theoretically be transmitted from rabbits to humans, but the risk is extremely low, and you’re considerably more likely to contract these infections through contaminated food.

What is the best way to make friends with a wild rabbit?

brown rabbit on green grass field during daytime
  • Giving a wild rabbit food is the best way to make friends with him. Give them a piece of fruit or some green leafy vegetables. However, keep the serving sizes small and avoid citrus fruits like lemons and pineapples.
  • Leave a trail of food for your wild rabbit to follow in the beginning. This allows the rabbit to decide how close he is willing to get. If a wild baby rabbit is only a few weeks old, you’ll want to know if 2-week old rabbits can drink water.
  • Allow the wild rabbits to become accustomed to your presence over time. Make no forward movement in their direction. Rabbits may interpret this as an attack, and your efforts to befriend them may be in vain.
  • Because rabbits are sensitive to emotions, you should always approach them with affection and care. If you’re angry, stay away from them. They can misinterpret your rage as directed at them.
  • When the wild rabbit has become accustomed to being near you, speak to them in a gentle, friendly tone. To be sure, let them smell you.
  • If you have other pets at home, such as dogs or cats, avoid approaching a wild rabbit that smells like them. Wild rabbits are prey for dogs and cats, therefore if you smell like one, a wild rabbit will be wary of approaching you.
  • Sit down on the ground and don’t try to make any sudden movements. The wild rabbit will feel less threatened if its height is reduced. Allow your rabbit to sniff your hand before gently massaging its head and back.

How do you recognize a wild rabbit?

Like other rabbits, wild rabbits are prey animals. In comparison to domesticated rabbits, they live in a hostile environment. As a result, they are exceedingly careful, alert, and occasionally dangerous.

  • Wild rabbits have a greyish-brown coat with a speck of white on the underside of their tail.
  • They are smaller, ranging roughly 30- 40 cm in length. 
  • These rabbits can weigh anything from 1.5 to 2 kg.
  • Their lifespan is usually between nine and ten years. This, however, is contingent on the hostile nature of the environment in which they live.

The environment has such an effect on them that they become highly unpredictable. If they see you as a predator, they will strike without hesitation. That is why they must be handled with prudence.

What are the best wild rabbits to tame?

There is no one wild rabbit breed that is the easiest to tame. The species that live in your area, which will most likely be cottontails, will be your main constraint. Cottontails come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the Eastern Cottontail being the most prevalent in the United States. Cottontails, on the other hand, are nearly impossible to tame and are extremely wary. Gaining the trust of a cottontail takes a lot of effort, and many cottontails, whether tamed or wild, will never fully trust a human.

The European rabbit is the most common type of rabbit in Europe. They’re an invasive species that’s made it’s way around the globe, including to America and Australia. Because of their large numbers and interactions with humans, European rabbits are less hesitant than Cottontails, and in some cases have been socialized to not be scared of humans. Trapping and taming a European rabbit in your home, on the other hand, takes a lot of effort.

Things to expect when taming a wild rabbit

Wild rabbits are squeamish and fearful. For the most part, they are not habituated to humans and will perceive humans as predators waiting to murder them. Most actions involving getting close to the rabbit, such as petting, feeding them food out of your hand, snuggling or sitting together, and anything else, will have to wait a long time before the rabbit develops acclimated to you if it does at all.

Tamed rabbits may never become totally domesticated or comfortable enough to act like domestic rabbits, so expect your pet to stay fearful of you and avoid you the majority of the time.

It’s also possible that rabbits will never be litter trained. You won’t be able to get a wild rabbit spayed or neutered, and you won’t be able to litter train it if you tame it. You should be able to put litter boxes in some of its preferred areas, but you can’t stop it from marking its territory or going to the potty wherever it likes.

Getting ready to tame a rabbit

gray rabbit beside lamp post during daytime

Because a wild rabbit will not want to stay with you, you will need to have everything ready before catching one. Before attempting to catch a rabbit, make sure the cage or enclosure is secure and that the rabbit can stay in it for an extended period of time, if not the rest of its life.

Before you set the rabbit in the enclosure, make sure it has lots of hay and leafy greens. This will help it feel more at ease right away. You’ll need to prepare to own a tamed rabbit in the same way you would for owning a domesticated rabbit, and you’ll want to double-check that the area is bunny-proofed.

Catching a rabbit in the wild

You must use a trap that will keep the rabbit alive in order to catch a wild rabbit. Most cartoons depict a box supported by a stick and containing a carrot, but this is far too simplistic for real life. To catch the rabbit and bring it into your house, you’ll most likely need to acquire a humane live trap.

These traps can cost anywhere from $20 to $30, depending on the quality. They’re your best hope for catching a rabbit, but because it was forcibly removed away from its home, a captured rabbit may not trust you or its environment after being brought into your home.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to befriend a wild rabbit by regularly feeding it and acclimating it to your presence. If that’s the case, you might be able to pick up the rabbit and put it in a cage or box to bring it into your home. Keep in mind that handling wild rabbits can be upsetting and frightening, and you should be as gentle as possible to avoid the rabbit dying from shock.

When removing female rabbits from their habitat, be cautious because they may have a litter waiting for her to feed. To avoid orphaning litter, it’s best to capture male rabbits whenever possible.

Keeping the rabbit

Set up a spacious enclosure for the rabbit to dwell in, at least 12 square feet. Ascertain that at least one of the sides is against a solid wall since this will provide the rabbit with a sense of security and allow it to withdraw and recover.

Even better if you can offer a hutch for the rabbit to hide in. Wild rabbits are accustomed to having a warren to go to when disturbed, thus they will seek out a safe haven when they feel threatened. You should keep the rabbit in a quiet spot where it won’t be overwhelmed by humans or other pets at first, but as it becomes tamer, you can bring it inside the house.

The most important thing is to make the rabbit feel at ease and secure in your home so that it may become accustomed to you and your surroundings.

Feeding the rabbit

The same things can be provided to a tamed or caught rabbit as they can to a domesticated rabbit. Adults can consume timothy hay or pellets, while babies will mainly ingest cat formula or milk replacement and alfalfa hay.

Because wild rabbits are accustomed to eating grass and wild vegetables, it’s critical to ensure that they get adequate greens. This means you should provide the rabbit lush greens like dark lettuces, root vegetable tops, and even grass clippings if pesticide-free clippings are available.

If you wish to improve your friendship with the rabbit, offer it fruits and slowly hold them out for it to take. These sweet sweets should be consumed in moderation, but giving the rabbit a piece of fruit every day or two can help the rabbit link you with positive things.

Making the rabbit feel at ease

It’s critical that you provide the rabbit with all of the room it needs. It will most likely be terrified of you at first and try to flee because it believes you are a predator. You must demonstrate that you are a friend to the rabbit. Sit or lie down when spending time with the rabbit to make yourself appear smaller.

This will calm the rabbit down and make you appear less dangerous. It’s best not to hover over the rabbit or place your palm over its head. If you wish to touch it, slowly reach above it and pet its body to reduce the risk of it biting you. Only pet it for a few seconds before backing away so it may flee if it becomes frightened.

Any predator animals in the house, such as cats or dogs, should be avoided at all costs. This will make the rabbit feel extremely vulnerable, and it will run away from any threats it encounters.

Gaining a tamed rabbit’s trust

You’ll have to work on developing your relationship with the rabbit over time, and it could take years for the rabbit to trust you. To keep the rabbit from becoming frightened, keep calm and quiet whenever you see it and avoid hovering or standing over it if at all possible. Attempt to stick to the same predictable routines so that the rabbit becomes accustomed to you and your actions.

You should also establish yourself as a food and water source. When it comes to hay and treats like fruits and vegetables, make sure you’re the one feeding your rabbit. If you are the one who always provides the food, and you do so consistently and without being aggressive, the rabbit will regard you as a reliable source of food.

Health maintenance of a tamed rabbit

Keeping their living area clean is much more important for wild or tamed rabbits. Rabbits in the wild can carry a variety of bacteria and diseases, as well as fleas and ticks. You should buy flea treatment and use it on a regular basis, and you should inspect the rabbit for ticks or other bugs as soon as you receive it.

To get rid of the bacteria carried by the rabbit, you should clean the rabbit’s enclosure on a regular basis with rabbit-safe cleaners like white vinegar. This should be done for the rest of its life, as it will continue to spread bacteria and diseases. The rabbit’s immune system has developed a resistance to the disease’s symptoms, so it is unlikely that it will become ill. Contaminants, on the other hand, can cause it to become ill with other diseases.

Make sure the rabbit has enough space to run around and play. Rabbits require several hours of exercise per day, as well as a variety of toys to keep them entertained. Give your rabbit cerebral stimulation by offering it toys like paper balls to kick around or tunnels to go through.

When it comes to taming a rabbit, there are a few things you should avoid.

Certain activities will make it more difficult for you to acquire the trust of the domesticated rabbit. By hovering over the rabbit or reaching out above its head, you avoid making yourself appear large or frightening. It’s better to lay down and let the rabbit come to you rather than trying to get near to it when you’re spending time with it. If the rabbit can interact with you on its own terms, it will feel more at ease.

Try not to pick it up. Picking up a wild rabbit might result in shock and perhaps death, and at the very least, the rabbit will distrust you and perceive you as a predator who will eat it. Similarly, you should not hunt or follow the rabbit. These are predatory acts that will make it flee.

Things to do if you see rabbit babies

Even if you believe the babies have been abandoned, they are most likely not. Mother rabbits only visit their babies at dawn and dusk, and they only nurse for around ten minutes before leaving. This is done to keep the nest safe and to keep predators away.

Place a piece of string above the nest and check whether it has moved the next day to see if the mother is returning to visit the nest. If this is the case, you should leave the babies alone and let the mother look after them.

If the mother does not come to visit, your next step should be to try to get the pups to a rabbit rescue. If baby bunnies are cared for by humans, they have a nearly 70% probability of dying, but they have a better chance if they are cared for by specialists.

If there are no rabbit rescues in your area and you must care for the babies yourself, you should bring the entire nest, including the rabbits, to cause as little disruption as possible. Until they’re around ten days old, you’ll need to feed them every day and assist them in urinating and defecating. Despite your best efforts, expect any or all of them to die.

Is it possible to adopt a wild rabbit?

No, you should not get a wild rabbit as a pet. If you want to care for a new-born or sick wild rabbit, however, proceed with caution. Avoid getting too near to them. Keep the rabbit in a cage if it is agitated or grumpy, and be cautious when putting your hands near the cage. Make an appropriate location for the rabbit to reside in the cage.

Clean the cage on a regular basis as well. You may also show that waste falls off the cage and your rabbit’s nesting space is clean by using a cage with a grate bottom. If the wild rabbit is an adult, grass or hay can be fed to him. Kitten replacement milk is a good option for little rabbits.

Cow’s milk, on the other hand, should not be given to your rabbit because the content of cow’s milk differs significantly from that of rabbit’s milk. Adult rabbits, on the other hand, should not be given any milk because they are lactose intolerant.

Humans are perceived as predators by rabbits, so make sure your wild rabbits are confident that you do not want to harm them. Maintain a safe distance until the wild rabbit has earned your trust.